How to Make Pillows Out of Shirts

Do you have a closet full of t-shirts that are too old or stained to wear but not quite ready for the trashcan? If you’ve been looking for an easy and unique way to add style to your living space, crafting personalized pillows out of old t-shirts is a perfect solution!

You can use shirts that have sentimental value—such as one from a favorite band or alma mater—or choose one with a fun graphic design to spruce up any room. Before you say goodbye to those shirts for good, try turning them into pillows that will look great and give your home added style!

How to Make Pillows Out of Shirts

Not only is this an easy craft project with materials most people already have on hand, but it’s also a creative way to repurpose unused items and get more life out of them.

Read on to learn how to make pillows out of shirts perfectly for sprucing up sofas or just adding some flair around the house. Put your creative skills to use and follow our simple steps below on how to make pillow covers or decorative items with ease!

Why Making Pillows Out of Shirts is a Good Idea 

1. Cost-Effective

Making pillows out of t-shirts is a great way to add some style and personality to any living space without spending extra money. It’s also an easy process that almost anyone can do, even if you have never done any sewing before. The best part about using old shirts is that it requires minimal supplies and materials, so you can get creative with the look of your homemade pillows!

2. Personalized and Unique

Making pillows out of old t-shirts is a great way to add some flair and personality to any living space. You can use shirts that have sentimental value—such as one from a favorite band or alma mater—or choose one with a fun graphic design to spruce up any room. Best of all, you can make the pillows as unique and personalized as you want!

Now that we know why making pillows out of shirts is such a great idea let’s get started on how to do it.

Required items

  • Old t-shirts
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Pins

7 Ways How to Make Pillows Out of Shirts

1. Choose the Right Shirt

Choose the right t-shirts for your project. Look through your closet for shirts that have fun designs or colors, and make sure they are relatively free of stains or tears. This is an easy way to personalize your pillows, so try to find something that will match with the décor in your living space!

Choose the Right T-shirts for Your Project

2. Prepare the Shirt

Lay out your t-shirt flat on an ironing board and press it with an iron to get rid of any wrinkles or creases that may be present. It’s important to make sure the shirt is completely flat before moving on to the next step, so take your time!

3. Cut Out Your Fabric

Once the shirt is flat and wrinkle-free, it’s time to start cutting. Measure and cut out square pieces of fabric from the t-shirt using a pair of scissors. You can make them as big or small as you want but try to keep them relatively even in size and shape.

4. Sew the Pieces Together

Stack two of the cut-out pieces of fabric on top of each other and begin pinning them together. Once all four corners are pinned, start sewing the pieces together with a sewing machine or needle and thread. Make sure to leave an opening at the end so that you can stuff your pillow later.

5. Stuff the Pillow

Once the pillow is sewn together, it’s time to stuff it with whatever you choose. You can use old clothing or cotton stuffing for an even look or try something different, like feathers or beads, for a unique style. Remember to leave some room in between the stuffing so your pillow isn’t too bulky.

6. Finish Sewing

Once you have finished stuffing your pillow, it’s time to finish sewing up the opening. Make sure to go slowly and check for any loose threads or sloppy stitches, as this can ruin the look of your homemade pillow!

7. Display Your New Pillow

Once you have finished sewing the pillow, it’s time to display it in your living space. Place it on a sofa or bed for a cozy and stylish look, or put it in an armchair as an accent piece. Your new pillow will be sure to add some pizzazz and personality to any room!

Making pillows out of old t-shirts is a great way to add some style and personality to your living space without spending extra money. With our simple steps above, you can make pillow covers or decorative items with ease! So get creative and start sewing—you won’t regret it!

Make Pillow Covers or Decorative Items

7 Maintenance Tips for Pillows Made Out of Shirts

Making a pillow out of an old shirt is a great way to recycle and upcycle fabric that would otherwise have gone unused. But it’s important to properly care for your new pillows so they last for years. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

1. Avoid getting the pillow wet, as this could cause mold and mildew. If it does get wet, make sure to dry it out completely before storing it. Pillow stuffing is particularly susceptible to mildew if left damp.

2. Keep the pillow out of direct sunlight, as this can cause fading or damage to the fabric. The sunlight will also weaken the fibers of the fabric, so it’s best to avoid any direct exposure. Sunlight will also cause the colors of the fabric to fade over time.

3. To clean, spot treat with a gentle detergent and warm water. Do not dry clean or machine wash your pillow as this can damage the fabric. Warm water and detergent is enough to get most stains out of the fabric.

4. If needed, you can fluff your pillow by placing in a dryer on low heat for a few minutes. This will help restore its original shape and keep it looking full. Fluffy pillows are much more comfortable than flat ones.

5. Keep your pillow away from any sharp objects or anything that could snag the fabric and cause damage. Anything with a rough texture, like sandpaper, can also weaken the fibers of the fabric and damage it over time.

Keep Your Pillow Away From Any Sharp Objects

6. If you must store your pillow, make sure it is in a cool, dry place and wrapped in a protective material like cloth. This will help keep the pillow safe from any dust or dirt that may cause damage over time.

7. If your pillow starts to look dingy or discolored, you can apply fabric dye to restore its original vibrancy. Fabric dyes are available in a variety of colors and are easy to apply with just a few simple steps. With proper care, pillows made from shirts can last for years!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Shirt Material to Make Pillows?

The best shirt material to use for making pillows is lightweight fabric that is soft and durable. Cotton shirts are particularly popular because they offer the perfect combination of breathability and structure, plus they come in a variety of colors and patterns.

You may also consider using cotton blend fabrics like polyester-cotton blends or rayon-cotton blends as they are more wrinkle-resistant than 100% cotton.

What Tools Do I Need to Make Pillows Out of Shirts?

To make a pillow out of a shirt, you will need the following tools: fabric scissors, a sewing machine (or needle & thread if hand stitching), a ruler or measuring tape, pins, and stuffing for the pillow.

How Do I Cut the Shirts for Making Pillows?

The best way to cut the shirts for making pillows is to use a ruler or measuring tape and fabric scissors. Lay out your shirt on a flat surface, then measure how big you want your pillow to be and mark it with pins. Cut along the marked line and proceed to sew the two halves together.

Use a Ruler or Measuring Tape


Pillows made out of shirts can be a great addition to any home, and it’s an inexpensive way to make use of your old clothes. If you’re looking to give the pillows a more creative touch, you can always add some decorative trimmings or cute buttons to your pillowcases.

You could even focus solely on creating decorative pillows if you don’t care about sleeping comfort. A couple of pillows created with your favorite shirts is sure to brighten up any room and fill it with positive energy.

Not only is this an environmentally-friendly DIY project idea, but also a nice home decoration item that you can proudly display in your living space. So, gather all the supplies needed for this craft item activity and start working away with this easy guide on how to make pillows out of shirts! Making these comfy pillows from your old clothing is definitely going to be worth every bit of effort.

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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